Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Defining ourselves

There is a phrase so popular that it has become almost a cliche -- remain true to ourselves. It is a good phrase, and caries with it lot of good feedback if followed. Nonetheless, the phrase does contain one very obvious problem, and that is that most of us don't really have a clue as to who the hell we are.

We are, each of us, an extraordinary combination of genetics and experience. Everyone we have ever met affects us in some way, everything we have read reflects in the person that we are. Yet, there is in each of us an almost undefinable sense of "I" that we live with every day.

We are neither master to the "I", nor are we it's slave. We can try to shape it, and we can to some extent, but some pieces of it will only bend so far before they either stop moving, or will break off entirely.

So what this "I" is changes subtly from moment to moment, and from day to day.

It has been said that the true measure of one's character is not in what they say, but in what they do. This, likewise, holds some truth. Unless the person is deliberately lying, what a person says they are is the shape they want themselves to take. When what a person does contradicts the words they say, this demonstrates the degree to which we have failed, for whatever reason, to shape ourselves into the person we wish to become.

Thus, this allows people to say they are one thing, and yet do something completely different, and yet allow the original statement to remain true. They can WISH they were the thing that they say they were. The can BELIEVE that they are capable of making true to their wishes, for they wish it so badly, yet, for whatever reason, they are unable to bend the "I" to make it conform to their wishes.

Thus, they beat up on themselves. Label themselves as untrustworthy failures. The labels we give ourselves often make it so. We don't know how to bend ourselves to our desires and thus we quit trying.

What I want myself to be and who I seem to be in reality are not the same thing. I continue to make effort to bend my reality to my desires, but I am beginning to run out of ideas as to how to make this happen and grow despairingly at my ability to ever do so.

Thus, it is my own fallibilities that make me so forgiving of others. I understand how hard I struggle to be who I feel I "should" be, yet remain stubbornly as I am. I also stubbornly refuse to accept that who I am is who I will always be, so I continue to make statements of intent and fail to live up to them.

Through observation, I believe that most people share the same struggles. Forgiveness is easy for me, for by forgiving them I find it easier to forgive myself. My struggle to shape "who I am" is never ending, for there are aspects of who I seem to be that are unacceptable to me.

The world, and the people in it, are not black and white. Even those we consider evil face their own struggles between right and wrong (or at least I like to believe they do). I am imperfect, thus I generalize that all are imperfect. I struggle to forgive myself for my imperfections, so I thus struggle to forgive the imperfections in others.

And thus this is who I am, an thus how I define myself. Forgiveness to me is not so much a matter of choice, but simply a facing of reality as I see it.

Peace to all, and may those who are now hurting find some solace in my words

Love,
Steve

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mykyl and I are one person - she speaks with my voice, she feels with my heart, and I cry her tears. She has always been a part of me - an equal (and sometimes greater) part.

Society makes it very difficult for people like me to be true to ourselves and sometimes we find ourselves trapped between what we need and what is accepted - and it becomes very painful when we have to resort to deception to be that which we feel ourselves to be or that which is within us wanting to be let out. I guess that the reality is that we should probably stay hidden and separate and not interact with the world on some levels - that being true to ourselves just brings more pain than the emptiness we already feel.

I tried to be true to myself, but it was the wrong thing to do. In being true to myself I had to become something else for others, and it ended up hurting the person I loved the most, and has left me more fractured that I ever was before I tried to be free.

Robert

AuroraSkye said...

What you wrote was beautiful, Alphonsus, and so true. I know that I sure keep falling short of who I want to be and it is so tempting to want to check out of this world when I keep failing.

TY for what you wrote. :-)

Princess Ivory said...

@anonymouse:

Do not stay hidden. As I said on my own blog, Princess and I are also the same person. I cannot be anything else. I have tried. I am fortunate that my two selves share the same gender. But I think we all have aspects of both genders in us all. I have a male alt. Sometimes it is more appropriate to use him in interactions with strangers.

In terms of deception, I just think you need to be more open about who you are and what you are seeking, and you will find a partner who shares your beliefs, and can accept the duality of your nature. It has to be something they know right up front; not something they are blindsided by after you are deeply involved. You may strike out a few times that way, but eventually you will find a good match. There are all kinds of people in SL. And just like in TAW, I believe in the saying that "there is someone for everyone."

It is NOT wrong to be true to yourself. Indeed, how can we be anything else?

Princess Ivory

FD Spark said...

Very powerful words Alphonsus thants.
I spent most of my life feeling like
I could not be loved for who I truly was because I was flawed yet when I did have "Love" it felt like lie because it wasn't based on who I was but who the person wanted me to be so that they could love me.
It didn't work, it hurt.
The hardest part was when I took risk to do things different,
The story hasn't ended yet with happily ever after but as someone is major of freak genetics
and other oddities I can say it is hard to be different, to be flawed
but I have learned that just sometimes like in the flaws in painting or person can also be what make them endearing and
beautiful.

malakyte said...

Your words speak to me more than you know...

I am an artist. I have been an artist all my life. But for the last 10 years i have not done art. I have not made a living doing what i say i am, so what does that make me?

As for forgiving others, i am the same way. I see the flaws and i understand how it can be very hard to live up to ones own dreams.